Dave Perry has unveiled details and a gameplay video of his cloud-based game service Gaikai, demonstrating its ability to run a wide array of games in a basic browser window over distances of several hundred miles.
Perry, who in his spare time is the chief creative officer at Acclaim, took the wraps off Gaikai at the 2009 Game Developers Conference after OnLive announced its own cloud-based gaming service at the same show. After giving "most of the major publishers" a hands-on demonstration at E3, he has now posted details about the system and a video showing several games in action on his blog.
Perry says Gaikai will require no software installation whatsoever; the games in the video ran with nothing more than the latest version of Firefox and Flash on a standard Windows Vista system. Data in the demo is traveling a round-trip distance of roughly 800 miles, giving him a 21-second ping over a "home cable connection in a home" from a regular data center. "Our bandwidth is mostly sub-one megabit across all games," Perry wrote. "Works with Wifi, works on netbooks with no 3D card, etc."
He also couldn't resist taking a subtle jab at OnLive, which is generally viewed as the front-runner in the cloud-based gaming race. "We don't claim to have 5,000 pages of patents, we didn't take 7 years, and we do not claim to have invented 1 millisecond encryption and custom chips," he wrote. "As you can see, we don't need them, and so our costs will be much less. ;)"
"Our goals are really simple, to remove all the friction between hearing about a game and trying it out, to help reduce the cost of gaming, to grow video game audiences, to raise the revenue that publishers and developers can earn, and (most importantly) to make games accessible everywhere," he continued. "If the iPhone App store has taught us anything, when you make it easy to check things out, you get a billion downloads."
Among the games shown in the video are Need for Speed: Pro Street ("You're not supposed to be able to stream driving games," Perry noted), an emulated version of Mario Kart and World of Warcraft, which he said is "fantastic" because the technology allows gamers to get their MMOG fix anywhere, on any system, without requiring any software installation or patching. He also showed the system running Photoshop, saying he was interesting in having Adobe and other companies look at Gaikai as a "potential model for software."
Perry said Gaikai is currently seeking closed beta testers, particularly among people who live in California. More information and a sign-up form for the test program can be found at gaikai.com.